Sat, 3 Jun 2023



Four responses to Malaysia proposal
Published on: Saturday, September 03, 2022
By: Daily Express
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Picture shows members of the Commission, from left: Inche Ghazali bin Shafie and Dato Wong Pow Nee (Malayan Government nominees); Lord Cobbold; Sir David Watherston and Sir Anthony Abell (British Government nominees).

1962: The Cobbold Commission report to gauge the feelings of people in North Borneo on the Malaysia proposal was released. 

Among its findings were that: 
  • One third of residents in Sabah and Sarawak are in favour of Malaysia being formed; 
  • One third while in favour also wanted safeguards to ensure that their rights would be protected; and 
  • Some wanted independence first before joining Malaysia; and
  • Some were not in favour of joining Malaysia. 

Dusuns want own radio programmes 

1966: The United Sabah Dusun Association (Usda) passed a resolution at its annual meeting to urge Radio Malaysia Sabah to also air programmes in the Dusun language. 

It said that the Kadazan language programmes currently aired benefitted mainly the Kadazans in Penampang and could not be understood by the Dusuns in areas like Tuaran and elsewhere. 

Its President F Gabriel Tan said Dusuns should be glad that they have an Association to protect their interests. 

He noted that the existence of the Dusuns was threatened several years earlier by insistence to use the word “Kadazan” instead of Dusuns. 


British Council Centre opens 

1961: The British Council Centre in Jesselton was formally opened by Governor Sir William Goode. 

Goode said in his speech that the day is approaching when North Borneo will have to give more thought to self-government. 

“For this it is necessary to have a public which understands how a government works, how to manage public activities, how to run a debate or organise a society,” he said. 

The Governor added that the British Council would show how these things are done in Britain, as well as enjoy the “great heritage of English culture.” 

“Already interest in painting and music is developing. The Council will help bring the best of music and painting and stimulate an interest in other cultural activities such as writing, poetry and drama which are, perhaps, comparatively neglected in North Borneo,” he said. 

Supported by the British Government, one of the Council’s tasks abroad is teaching the English Language and developing closer cultural relations. Its main area is in running reference and lending libraries. 

First Scouts rally 

1960: Scouts from all over the colony staged their first rally to bid farewell to Chairman of the Boy Scouts Council, GL Gray. The Scouts from Tambunan showed real scouting initiative by walking to Jesselton across the Crocker Range. 

Gray thanked all the scouts and recollected incidents in the early days of the movement in North Borneo, many of which brought laughter. 


North Borneo’s first surgeon 

1963: Dr John Yoke Hong Chong became the first North Bornean Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in London when he passed his exam in May. 

Chong who studied medicine at the University of Sydney was the son of Mr and Mrs Philip Chong, a well-known Jesselton family. 


Guides hold first international jubilee camp 

1960: The first international jubilee camp organised by the Colony Girl Guides Association was opened with wife of the Governor, Mrs Goode, describing it as “a turning point in the history and development of Guiding in North Borneo.” 

She said the first attempt at Guiding in North Borneo was made in Sandakan in 1926, leading to an auspicious start in Jesselton in 1947. There were representatives from Sarawak, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brunei. 


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